Arsenal…. On top of the world, Ma!

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So we move to the top of the table….. for the time being. That could change again this afternoon. Another fine performance yesterday although it got a bit nervy after Barkleys’ lucky deflection.

Ozil my MOTM, he had a superb game. Shame we weren’t able to keep a clean sheet but a win is a win.

So what result do we want to see in Manchester this afternoon? I suppose a draw would be the best we could hope for, which would keep us joint top with City, but maybe a United win would be better, would keep us top on goal average and keep City chasing.

In the other London game yesterday it gave me a warm feeling to see the Hammers beat the Chavs. Maureen having another meltdown after the game….. the guy is losing it.

Can see loads of rotation for the midweek COC game against Sheffield Wednesday…. Alexis, Walcott, Ozil, Kos, Nacho and Bellerin would be the obvious choices to keep on the bench.

That’s it from me today…. short and sweet.

Note: I’ve broken the connection to my PC charger so when the batterie runs out, I’ll have no power for the PC. Won’t be able to get a new one this week because I’m in the mountains north of Grenoble. Consequently, won’t be many comments from me and also, may mean I’m not able to make a post next Sunday. See how it goes.

 

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The Arsenal who kicked the Hornets’ Nest.

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Onwards and upwards, but Watford gave us a good game yesterday. Their pressing and defending was impressive and they managed to keep us at bay for the first-half. We were missing the flair and creativity which had ripped Man United apart in the first twenty minutes two weeks ago. However, this was due partly to the way the Hornets’ played and they need to be given credit for this. Somehow though, you just knew that they would run out of steam, they were chasing us down on every ball so it was inevitable.

In the second half we got our mojo going and finally got into the Watford gap, but it still took us twenty minutes before Sanchez got the much needed first goal on 64 minutes. Then came twelve minutes of beautiful football, we grabbed the game by the scruff of the neck and took control. Unfortunately, Theo, despite hard work and tireless running, failed to get on the scoresheet and was subbed just after the first goal. On comes the poncy Frenchman and it seems competition for the CF place is having the desired affect, it took him all of four minutes to tap in our second. By this time Watford were running on empty and knew that the game was lost, and so it was as twelve minutes after the first goal, Ramsey finally managed to get his first goal of the season.

Ozil, despite not being able to put the ball in the net, had a fine game with assists for two of the goals. Infact, the second half showed the whole teams efficiency and ability together. From Cech, through our wing backs Bellerin and Monreal, le Big Coq and the midfield and forwards, all were on the same wavelength, Little Santi summed up our confidence when he played tippy, tappy football with himself, just on the edge of our own penalty area, skilfully keeping the ball despite the attention of two or three Watford players, eventually bringing the ball out of defence effortlessly and with absolute control.

Overall, it was a very good game, a game of two halves, but give credit where credit is due, Watford contained us extremely well in the first 45 minutes.

So we stay second in the league, two points behind City and the fight for the title is very much on. Yesterdays results went fairly predictably, Liverpool and the Spuds fought out an entertaining goaless draw that keeps both nicely down the table. City had a fairly easy game against Bournmouth and surprisingly, United seemed to get an easy victory away to the Toffees. The Chavs, well still midtable but it was on the cards they would beat Villa and West Ham continue their fine away form to keep in touch with a Champions League spot.

The season is only a quarter of the way through, we are second in the table with a good run of games coming up. We have proved over the last three games that we can contain good teams and score, we’ve scored eleven goals in three matches, and shown that we have in our locker the ability to quickly take the lead and defend to maintain the lead (Man Utd) and we have proved that we have the patience to wait until the time is right, as against Watford yesterday.

It looks as if this season will be a good one for Arsenal bloggers, there will be more drama I’m sure, we will probably experience some nervous moments but surely this season we can be serious title contenders? If we can get through to Christmas with close to the maximum points available, stay close to City and Man Utd, then who knows….. if we do our normal good run after Christmas, I would like to think we will be crowned Champions at the end of the season.

OK, anything can happen between now and May and I’m having to fight my inner self who keeps running away with dreams of winning the league…. but on current evidence, it’s easy to do that, as I’m sure a lot of Gunners are doing the same. It’s going to be an interesting and bumpy ride, put your seatbelts on, grab the door handle…… and enjoy.

Post hoc ergo propter hoc… or, will injuries be the cause of another failed season?

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It is often cited that ‘luck’ or ‘fate’ have seriously affected the Gunners when challenging for the title. Injuries have been the main cause of us being unable to sustain a strong starting XI and therefore, being handicapped in our push for a trophy. ‘After this, therefore, because of this’.

This season so far, we have been fairly ‘lucky’ with injuries. Jack and Danny are the only main concerns but their absence has not as yet, been a dibilitating factor. There are still enough players to fill their spots. However, will this continue and can we maintain an injury free period long enough to make our current good start in the Premier League a successful? Sanchez has finally found form but last weekend he walked off with a groin injury, fortunately it wasn’t bad enough for him to miss playing for his country. If however, he were to be out for several weeks or months then that would be a serious disruption to our team dynamic.

The last few seasons have shown the fragility of the Arsenal when it comes to maintaining a fit team. This season, apart from the opening game, we have started extremely well and it looks as if we could mount a promising bid for the title. Injuries are my main worry and inconsistancy is my second concern. Mr Wenger seems to be targetting the Premier League title, with rotation now the norm in the Champions League. Rotation will hopefully reduce the risks of any of our main players picking up an unneccessary injury.

We have a fairly good run of games up until Christmas and I can foresee us topping the league on Christmas day.

Watford (a)

Everton (h)

Swansea (a)

Spuds (h)

WBA (a)

Norwich (a)

Sunderland (h)

Aston Villa (a)

Man City (h) and then Southampton (a) on Boxing day.

A maximum of 30 points…. wouldn’t be beyond our capability to get close to 30 points on current form and the injury Gods smiling kindly upon us.  Injuries and inconsistancy are going to be our biggest enemies. Inconsistancy can be worked on as a team and in training and mental preperation. Injuries can be inflicted at any moment so rotation in the other competitions is going to be crucial. A good push for the PL and the FA cup is going to be the priority for Wenger…. the PL because he needs it at this stage in his career, and the FA cup because we will make history.

Todays Sunday supplement is short and has been rather rushed, I’ll apologise for any spelling errors because haven’t proof read…. a weekend of alcohol abuse has taken it’s toll and I must admit , I’m feeling rather rough. However, I think a glass of wine now with my normal spicy chorizo should do the trick. Post hoc ergo propter hoc…. as they say. Santé!

The Greeks burst the Arsenal Bubble….

Good morning tit lovers from a sunny and warm Southern France.

After the Leicester game I was in very high spirits, the next game was Olympiacos at the Emirates in the Champions League and a good win was envisaged. Due to our unfortunate defeat in Croatia this had to be a must win game to stay in contention for getting through the group stages. Wenger had been under the spot-light and criticised for fielding too many changes to the team against Dynamo Zagreb so the thinking amongst fans was that he would field his strongest side against the Greeks.

There will be many heated debates about the side that Wenger chose and the biggest debate is the inclusion of Ospina instead of Cech. For me, our strongest side has to include our #1 keeper, no question. So why did our manager use the Chilian? There have been a few conspiracy theories put forward. Firstly is that Ospina has included in his contract a clause that he plays all Cup games including the Champions League…. if that were to be the case then for me it is very poor team management. I couldn’t believe that Wenger would be able to make such a promise which could affect his team selection for such an important competition.

Secondly, it was mentioned that Cech had a small injury and Wenger confirmed this. However, my question is, ” Why was Cech on the bench if he was suffering an injury?”. Very strange and maybe the manager told a little porkie to avoid any difficult questions. He has defended his decision this week, saying that he has two world class keepers.

Thirdly, and this is my personal theory, Monsieur Wenger has realised that with his current squad, it is not possible to win the Champions League and therefore, he is treating it like the Capital One Cup and rotating as much as possible to keep the squad fresh for a serious push for the Premier League title. I really can’t see any other plausible reason.

So after such a disappointing defeat on Tuesday we come to todays game against Manchester (the red side) who were topping the league until yesterdays emphatic win by the Manchester blue side against the struggling Toons. United currently on 16 points and us on 13, a win for us today will make us joint second. Can we do it though, our record against them isn’t brilliant and last season their win at the Emirates was Van Gaals first win after taking over. I was critical of the purchase of a 19 year old Martial for £40m and thought it was a crazy price to pay for a unproven forward. However, he has proved me wrong so far and he will be a big threat today, as will Rooney who tends to score regularly against the Gunners.

Team selection is a difficult task, Kos is out with a hammy, Arteta and Flamster are both out, but the Big Coq is fit to play. Our strongest back four therefore will be Bellerin, Paul Easter, BFG and Monreal with Coq au Vin sitting just in front. Walcott or Giroud? Your guess is as good as mine, I’ve no idea, but Theo will probably start. The Ox, Cazorla, Ramsey, Sanchez or Özil will form the midfield, again, I’ve no idea who from that five. But one thing is for certain, Cech will be in goal.

What will be the outcome? I think we may see a few goals, it could end up a bit like last weekends game against Leicester…. who will get the 5 and who will get the 2?…. how the fuck would I know. This game could go either way but I’m hoping for a win to the Gunners. Hope is all I have left, I leave the confidence to the manager.

After severe floods down here yesterday I’ve woken to a gloriously sunny day. The wine is chilling in the fridge and the chorizo has been sliced… cheers and bon apetit. Enjoy the game where ever you may be.